Archived Story

Looking Inside Dowagiac Schools: Girls on the Run comes to Justus Gage Elementary

Published 12:25am Wednesday, January 19, 2011

We are excited to announce that Girls on the Run is coming to Justus Gage Elementary.

Girls on the Run is a 10-week program for girls in grades 3, 4 and 5.

The area organizations and volunteers who work in partnership with the Van Buren/Cass District Health Department are committed to the health and well-being of the children in our area.

The program provides a well-developed curriculum with lessons taught by certified Girls on the Run coaches, Ashley Horvath and Jennifer Dykstra.

The lessons are designed to prepare the girls for issues they will encounter as they go through adolescence.

The girls will be taught strategies that address bullying, body image and overall positive self-image.

Dykstra shared that she “is pleased that some parents have even asked about running with their daughters.”

Girls on the team meet two times per week and receive a pair of New Balance running shoes, a water bottle and an official GOTR T-shirt.

Participation in a 5K run/walk Event on May 21, 2011, is the culminating activity for the season.

The ultimate goal is for each of our girls to cross the finish line feeling like a superstar.

Mrs. Horvath joined Girls on the Run last year, while working as an aide at Kincheloe Elementary.

She joined the program to have a chance to work with fourth and fifth graders, but ended up falling in love with the program for its ability to reshape the habits and attitudes of each member, including herself.

After getting to witness the growth and confidence given to each girl who joins Girls on the Run, she couldn’t wait for the opportunity to create a program at Justus Gage and is excited for March when the training begins!

Mrs. Dykstra recently began running and teamed up with SoleMates, the adult partner to Girls on the Run.

She wanted to share her enthusiasm for physical activity and healthy lifestyle with the girls at Justus Gage so she became involved in directly working with GOTR at the student level.

Girls on the Run is a 501c3 positive youth development program.

If you are interested in donating to the future of the girls in our community, please contact Mrs. Dykstra or Mrs. Horvath at Justus Gage Elementary School.

Marcy Hendress is principal of Justus Gage Elementary School.

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